Sunday, September 24, 2006

Banned Books Week

Actually, I am amazed that there IS such a thing as Banned Book Week! Considering that our culture is struggling with issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, Green Peace, crooked politicians, and the war in Iraq, the last thing I would think that we would have a problem with is books that have some questionable content!! Hello? Has anyone been watching those Movie of the Week lately? Talk about something that should be banned!!

There is a list of 42 books that have been banned or challenged, some as recently as 2004, that are also on Radcliffe Publishing's list of the 100 All Tme Greatest Books list. How is that possible? The Great Gatsby is on both of those lists. So is To Kill A Mockingbird. Gone With The Wind. For Whom The Bell Tolls. A Farewell To Arms. The Call Of The Wild. The Grapes of Wrath. Catcher In The Rye. Beloved. The Lord Of The Flies. Shall I go on?!

How many of these books have YOU read? Many on on the required reading lists of high school and college lit classes around the country. I myself haven't read a lot of them--required reading wasn't an issue for me since I read anything I could get my hands on while in school, and we didn't have a list to follow. But I have read a few, and the ones that I have read are great books! What is WRONG with these people anyway?!

Basically, if you look at the content of many of these books, you will find racism, treachery, violence against women and other people, prejudiuce, bigotry, and a lot of other ugly human emotions that many people are uncomfortable with. But the truth is these books are REAL! They talk about REAL things and they explore REAL emotions and how they make us feel and what they make us do. And we don't always like to look into a mirror because then we see ourselves as we truly are and THAT is what these people who want to ban these books are objecting to!! REALITY. The ugliness in their own souls.

The authors of these books had wonderful insights into the human condition. They didn't back away from it--they explored it, felt it, shared it, wrote it. They saw the warts and wrinkles and instead of hiding them they brought them out so everyone could see and maybe learn from them. How can this be a bad thing? I would rather my children read about such things in a book and then talk with me about it than to hear these same things out on the street and not understand the reasons behind the ugliness. Because all of this stuff in these books? Still out there, still happening. Banning books won't get rid of the racism and violence, the hate that permeates American society even today. Books just bring it out into the open where we can deal with it and understand it better.

So check out that list. I think it is over on Google--sorry, should have looked at the link before I posted this! What do YOU think about it? Don't be afraid to speak your mind--what am I going to do about it? BAN you?! I think not...


Crzy Boss said...

I've always known about the banned books. Didn't know til now that some Scholar dedicated a week to them. I will try to look at the up side to this. Possibly this "Banned Book Week" recognition will inspire curious folk to read them that never have. HA, won't that p**s 'em off. Oh yea, I believe Tom Sawyer is on that list also. These Scholars haven't watched alot of TV, Movies or played alot of video games lately, huh?

dee said...

Wonderfully timed post!

I hate the idea of banning books, any type of books. Really, it's like you said, they explore the ugliness in our world, bring it out in the open. No, I don't like every book that has ever been published. I don't agree with every idea that has been expressed. But from every book I have ever read, I have learned SOMETHING, some small (or VERY LARGE ) thing, and that has helped make me the person I am. Without books, I really don't know who or what I would be, but I'm guessing it would not be a good thing.

Please encourage your folks to head over to the book review blog and comment about their favorite banned book. Plus, they could win that $20 gift card to their favorite national bookseller...

LOVED this post!